HP LaserJet p1505 on Ubuntu

Update: See here if you’re using Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)


Recently an HP LaserJet p1505 printer came into my possession and I was eager to set it up with Ubuntu.  Unfortunately, (and disappointingly so considering how well other HP printers that I have work 😦 ) this printer does not work out of the box.  There seems to be a number of factors in play as well.  For one thing, this printer requires firmware to be loaded.  That seems to spell trouble all by itself.  Another thing is that if you try to install this printer though hp-toolbox, it will offer to automatically download and install a plugin that is required for the printer.  If you try to do it this way, it will appear to have successfully downloaded and installed it.  However this is not the case.  It doesn’t do anything at all.  Some have reported success by running

sudo hp-setup

manually.  For me, this did actually successfully download and install the plugin.  However, the printer was still not working.  Here is what I had to do to get this printer working.  If you’re having trouble with this printer, this may be worth a try.

If you haven’t already, install hp-toolbox

sudo apt-get install hp-gui

Remove the foo2zjs if it happens to be installed

sudo apt-get remove --purge foo2zjs

Make sure to delete the printer from System → Administration → Printing if you’ve already tried adding it.

We’re going to need build-essential for this.  So install the build-essential package

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Now get the source for foo2zjs

wget -O foo2zjs.tar.gz http://foo2zjs.rkkda.com/foo2zjs.tar.gz

Unpack it and enter the directory

tar -xzvf foo2zjs.tar.gz
cd foo2zjs

Now to compile it. Just run


After it’s done compiling, we need to download the firmware. So run

./getweb P1505

Now to install everything.  Run

sudo make install
sudo make install-hotplug

And finally to restart CUPS

sudo make cups

Now you can add the printer with System → Administration → Printing.  Be sure to select the Foomatic/foo2xqx driver.  The printer should now be working.  The only quirk that seems to be present is that hp-toolbox thinks there is some kind of error with the printer that says “service request please correct the problem and try again.” Yet there’s nothing wrong with the printer.